‘New’ website

What a great response to my poem. Thanks, folks. Also, now I have updated my website, http://www.juliecround.co.uk I have more people looking at it. I do need to email some of my readers to tell them about it but , most of all, I hope it will bring in more invitations to speak as I don’t have any for 2018 and I know most groups organise their speakers a year in advance.

The poetry book is under discussion but until I am sure of the layout I can’t ask Joan for more cartoons. I wish I had kept a list of everyone who bought “Honey and Humbug” but I didn’t. That’s a lesson, folks, keep a list of all your readers. It seems cheeky but it helps when you write the next book!

Hubby has made a database so I can track all the stories I send out for competitions. That will be my next task, when this hot weather breaks. At present I don’t feel like doing anything!

Poem – WAR

“What did you do in the war, Daddy?””It all depends which war you mean.”

“They said there was mud and tanks, Daddy.Did you hear the wounded scream?

“Was it terrible in the trenches, Daddy. Did your friends and comrades die?”

“I wasn’t alive for that, son, but it made your Grandma cry.”

“So, what was the war you were in, Daddy? Did you march, or fly a plane?

“Did you struggle home on a boat, Daddy, and who was it to blame?”

“I was only a baby, then, son. I was far too young to fight,

But the enemy sent some planes and bombs that gave us an awful fright.

The battle then was won, son. The wars are different now.

There’s still folk who want to harm us and I’ll try to warn you how.

If people tend to disagree they no longer compromise

Instead they use weapons of hate to distribute their lies

On internet across the world  -so, they are with us, here.

We all have to be vigilant, our enemies are near.

We want to trust the folk we meet, but even those who care

Find ignorance and greed combine to bring destruction there.

For many weeks the news has led with terror and with pain

It makes one wonder if our wars will ever end again.”

 

Titles

Poems chosen, I now find that I need a new title for the anthology. It was going to be “Birds, Blues and Bygones” which gave an idea of the verses about nature and nostalgia that we started with. Now some of the more simple poems have been replaced by darker ones about loss and change and I need to check the balance of moods to ensure the whole thing is not too depressing.

I also need to look up ways of designing the pages myself to avoid having to pay extra for the printing. It is a good job there is no specific date for completion.

As for the pantomime, I think I have found my two main characters. These two activities mean I am not writing but I am reading and ,I hope, learning!

Poetry anthology

Being an editor/publisher as well as a novelist means I get the opportunity to select and revise as well as create. At the moment I am choosing poems for the second anthology by four local writers and they have come up with some very good work that is more serious than the rest of the verses I had selected.

I think, maybe , that this book will turn out very different from ‘Honey and Humbug’ our first anthology, which made people chuckle and is now out of print as all 100 copies were snapped up in a few months. I did not ISBN it as I was warned that not many people bought poetry books and, actually, a lot of them were given away as presents. It did prove that our efforts were appreciated and hence the new book.I do sometimes include a poem or two in my talks to the WI so my copy is very precious.

I am now researching local printers to find the most reasonable way of producing the anthology as I do not want to use Print on Demand.

A Child’s Garden of Verses

Wowee, what a revelation! I can remember being charmed by some of the poems in this book when I was little, especially ” The Land of Counterpane,”and “From a Railway Carriage”is still a classic but I hadn’t realised how dated it is. My copy has very sugary illustrations and I found the constant reference to “nursie” irritating but there is a severe lack of political correctness, partly, I believe, because it was written from a boy’s point of view and partly because, in an effort to include other countries Stevenson could not help but show the attitudes of the time (1920) The poem “Foreign Children” is offensive to modern eyes and there is a mention of the word “negro” which I would argue should be left as it is true to the period and not meant in a derogatory manner.

“The Lamplighter”could start a history lesson. “Windy Nights” could be the inspiration for an English lesson and there would be a lot of mileage in asking why so many poems were full of marching and drums and fighting. When I was young we all played war games, cowboys and indians, lead soldiers. I even used chess pieces as armies. That was then and this is now.

Thanks for making me look again at a book I treasured .

Poetry

Thanks to a wordpress blog I decided to purchase the Poems of the Decade as most of the poems I write are quite old fashioned, with a lot of rhyming couplets. This is a book of modern poetry by a variety of poets and I’m hoping it will help me to write something more acceptable to today’s readers. At school, in the sixties, the nearest we got to modern poetry was TS Eliot. and the poems I remember were the ones we recited as children, like ‘I must go down to the seas again…’ and the Walrus and the Carpenter.

Glancing through this volume I found only one poem that rhymed. I didn’t study literature at University and this will take some getting used to. I’m not pedantic about verse but I probably need some time to immerse myself in the new forms and try to remember how to analyse them from distant A level days!

We never stop learning.

Anthology

In the middle of editing the poetry anthology. Poems from four very different writers and I am wondering whether to keep the two different set ups. Some are written from the left margin and some centred. I quite like the variety but I’ll have to talk with my designer. I’d also like a border of some sort. I looked at some on line and I think I have found one I like but should it be the same on every page? Also, I have changed some of the punctuation and am tempted to restore the originals as they are how the author intended. I only found one spelling error in twenty poems. Now to get it all in order for October, when I am hoping we can make some sales.